Archive | Stress

The Best Natural Treatments for Hives

Unfortunately what makes treating hives so difficult is the fact that for every sufferer there are different triggers, as a result what helps one hives sufferer might not do anything for another. That’s why if you do a quick search on the internet you can see so many different treatments that some people think of as their “life savers” and responses from other people who have had no reprieve using the exact same methods.

I’m a big believer in natural is best (don’t get me wrong there is definitely a time and a place for Western medicine) – but I believe in giving the body everything it needs to heal itself. Because basically hives is an imbalance in the body, whether it be to stress, an allergy or a build up of toxins, the best way to rid yourself of hives is to work with the bodies natural abilities and discover the imbalance.

So here I’ve collected some of the best NATURAL treatment solutions I’ve found and put them in one place – the best thing is they’re all natural and they won’t cost a fortune. So if you suffer from hives, give them a go and hopefully you’ll find one that works for you.

Some treatments are topical and some are diet related; sometimes it might take a mixture of a few to get results:

1. Coconut and Oregano Body Oil

Mix 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil and 10-15 drops of Oil of Oregano. Completely smooth over effected area.

This treatment aims to heal hives through the amazing natural properties of both oils. Oil of Oregano has anti-inflammatory action and is a natural anaesthetic, it’s also a powerful antioxidant. Both coconut oil and oregano oil are known as Nature’s most powerful and best antiseptics – they’re both anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial.

2. Oatmeal and Cornstarch Paste

Make a paste with 2 cups of oatmeal and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add a little water to make it into a paste. Apply to affected area for 15-30 minutes. It dries the hives up within a couple of hours. If your hives cover a large portion of your body then try having a cool bath with oatmeal and at least a box of cornstarch.

Cornstarch acts as a soothing agent with antibiotic properties and oatmeal has great healing properties. You may need to do this daily before you start seeing results.

3. Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar –

Make a tea with 1 teaspoon of Aluminum FREE baking soda and 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and drink twice daily. This tea is great detoxifying the body of allergens and histamine that cause inflammation whilst also returning the body to its natural state.

4. Soothing Mint Ice Cubes –

for some quick relief from the symptoms of hives, make some mint ice cubes by steeping 2 teaspoons of freshly crushed organic mint leaves (if you can’t buy organic make sure you wash the leaves very well so there’s no pesticide residue in your ice cubes) in boiling water and allow to cool. Strain the tea into ice cube trays and place in the freezer.

Mint is known for its cooling effects; place the ice cubes directly onto the effected area to instantly relieve inflamed or irritated skin. Once they have frozen you can place these directly on the skin.

5. Healing Vitamins –

Take cayenne pepper in capsule form, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to help the healing process.

6. Repair the acid/alkaline balance in your body –

The foods we eat and our environment can greatly effect the body’s natural pH state, which can be a leading factor in the development of many diseases. The basic idea is about ensuring the body is in its optimal natural state to give it the ability to heal itself.

There is heaps of information on the internet if you do a quick search about the acid/alkaline balance and what the best foods are to consume and avoid to allow the body to repair itself.

If you would like to test the acidity of your body you can do a quick saliva test with litmus paper – be careful not to touch the litmus paper though because the skin is usually slightly acidic, and will vary the results.

7. Quercetin –

Quercetin is a plant pigment that acts as a natural antihistamine, which can help reduce and even completely cure some people of hives, as it acts as a natural balance to the allergen effect which creates hives. Quercetin is most commonly found in leafy green vegetables, onions and apples. Naturopathic doctors generally recommend taking 500 milligrams of this natural herbal remedy twice a day.

8. OxyHives Homeopathic Remedy –

OxyHives is a natural oral remedy that uses the principals of homeopathy to heal the source of hives and prevent them from reoccurring. There have been many people who have had great success with this treatment and have even reported no reoccurred since taking OxyHives.

9. Sandalwood essential oil

This essential oil is well known for its calming and cooling effects. Consequently, many herbalists refer to Sandalwood as a sedative for the skin. Simply add several drops of this essential oil to a cotton ball and then apply it to the infected area every three hours. You should be careful when apply essential oils directly to the skin – if you notice any irritation simply add a couple of drops of oil to coconut oil.

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How to Recognize Stress Before it Turns Into Anger

After a stressful day as a computer programmer, Jim pulled into his driveway. The children’s toys were scattered on the walkway to the house.

He immediately began noticing slight tension in his muscles and apprehension in his stomach. Entering his house, his wife ignored him while she talked with her sister on the telephone. His heart started beating a little faster.

Looking around, he noticed disarray; nothing was picked up, the house was a mess. Irritation and frustration started to settle in. Finally, as his feelings grew, he exploded and began yelling at his wife and children.

Stress may trigger anger:

Stress is often the trigger that takes us from feeling peaceful to experiencing uncomfortable angry feelings in many common situations such as the one described above.

Stress is most easily defined as a series of bodily responses to demands made upon us called stressors.

These “demands” or stressors can be negative (such as coping with a driver who cuts in front of you on the freeway) or positive (such as keeping on a tour schedule while on vacation).

Stressors may be external to you (like work pressure) or internal (like expectations you have of yourself or feeling guilty about something you did or want to do).

Whether the stressor is external or internal, scientists have discovered that the major systems of the body work together to provide one of the human organism’s most powerful and sophisticated defenses; the stress response which you may know better as “fight-or-flight.”

This response helps you to cope with stressors in your life. To do so, it activates and coordinates the brain, glands, hormones, immune system, heart, blood and lungs.

Avoid Jim’s destructive behavior toward his loved ones. Before your stress response turns into anger or aggression, use these strategies to get it under control:

Read your personal warning lights: Becoming aware of your stress response is the first step to managing it. This means listening to your body, being aware of your negative emotions, and observing your own behavior when under stress.

For instance, notice muscle tension, pounding heart, raising voice, irritation, dry mouth, or erratic movements.

What you see is what you get: For a potential stressor to affect us -stress us out – we have to first perceive it or experience it as a stressor.

Gaining a new perspective on the stressing situation can often drastically change the effect it has on us. Our stress response can indeed be a response (something we can control) instead of a knee-jerk reaction (which is automatic).

Examples: Cut off on the freeway? “It is not personal. That guy has a problem. I will stay calm.” Bullied by a co-worker? “If I react, he wins. Later, I will privately let him know how I feel about what he did. If that doesn’t work, I’ll discuss it with our manager.”

Stress-Guard your life: You can also make many life-style changes to reduce or minimize feeling stressed-out, even if you can’t change some of your actual stressors

For instance, manage your time better, establish priorities, protect yourself from toxic relationships, and find a way to manage your money better, or consider changing your job or occupation.

Other stress-guards include those you have probably heard before, but maybe need to do more frequently such as:

getting adequate rest,

eating a healthy diet,

avoiding excessive alcohol intake,

living in a way consistent with your core personal values,

developing social networks of friends and support.

Stress is most easily defined as a series of bodily responses to demands made upon us called stressors. It’s important to recognize these stress responses and develop techniques to lessen the impact.

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Phobias – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger. A phobia is a long lasting illness that can cause intense physical and psychological distress and can affect a person’s ability to function normally at work or in social settings. Phobias can be divided into specific phobias, social phobia and fear of open spaces, which is known as agoraphobia. Specific phobias are further divided into a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia); fear of animals (zoophobia); fear of heights (acrophobia); fear of flying (pterygophobia); fear of water (hydrophobia) and fear of surgery, injections, tunnels, bridges etc. Genetics, neurotransmitter dysfunction in the brain, and traumatic experiences appear to influence the development of phobias.

All phobias can be treated quite well with cognitive behavioral therapies. In addition, medicines may be required for social phobias and agoraphobia. Ayurvedic medicines can be used to treat depression, anxiety, palpitations and elevated blood pressure. Medicines like Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger) and Jayphal (Myristica fragrans) are used for their sedative effect. To treat depression, medicines like Vacha (Acorus calamus), Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculata), Laxmi-Vilas-Ras and Shrung-Bhasma are used. The signs and symptoms of fear, such as an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, a pounding heart, and a shaking voice and limbs, can be treated using medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Jatamansi, Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Saraswatarishta, Arjunarishta, Dashmoolarishta, Tankan (Purified borax) and Arjun (Terminalia arjuna).

Medicines like Makar-Dhwaj- Ras, Maha-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Suvarna-Bhasma, Abhrak-Bhasma and Trivang-Bhasma are used in very minute doses along with the above-mentioned medicines, to bring about a faster therapeutic response and to help prevent a recurrence of symptoms. Ayurvedic Panchkarma procedures like ‘Shirodhara’ and ‘Shirobasti’ can act as effective tranquilizers to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. Another Panchkarma procedure known as ‘Nasya’ can be used to treat depression by using strong, stimulant, medicated nasal drops containing Vacha, Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis) and Pippali (Piper longum).

Since phobias usually develop at an early age, it is important for parents to talk openly about fears and to pursue positive approaches to fears and phobias, so as to help prevent their children from falling victims to these conditions. If phobias do develop, a direct or gradual confrontation is recommended instead of an avoidance of the object or situation.

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Sleep Anxiety – What it is and How to Beat It

If you have chronic insomnia, it’s quite likely that you also have sleep anxiety. And just what does that mean, exactly?

It means that your insomnia is making you feel anxious. This anxious feeling is making it even harder to fall asleep. So you’re now on an endless loop of…

…not being able to sleep, then

…feeling anxious about not sleeping, then

…staying up even longer, which of course is

…getting you even more uptight and anxious

…and so on and so forth.

In addition to this endless loop of 1) worrying about not sleeping and 2) not sleeping because of worrying so much, there is another, cruelly ironic twist to sleep anxiety.

Every time you begin to feel like you just might drift off to sleep, you become conscious of it – mainly because you want it so much – and a thought pops into your mind, such as “Hey I might actually be falling asleep!” or something very similar. What happens then?

Well, naturally you get wide awake all over again. The thought that you might finally get some sleep triggers even more sleep anxiety because you’re so afraid it won’t happen!

How to Beat Sleep Anxiety

Before you can deal with this very frustrating condition, you must understand two things:

1) You’ve become habituated to falling victim to this vicious cycle. Your own thoughts about sleep — especially about how important sleep is to you and how much you want it and need it — are literally keeping you awake! You will never get rid of your sleep anxiety until you recognize this crucial fact.

2) No matter how powerful these thoughts feel to you, you CAN change them. Far too many insomniacs suffer needlessly because they don’t know or don’t believe that they can change their own thoughts about sleep.

But make no mistake about it, you CAN get rid of sleep anxiety by changing your thoughts and how you approach the problem of your chronic insomnia.

Using a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, relaxation therapy techniques and old fashioned patience and persistence, you can get rid of sleep anxiety for good.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

This is a process of examining your own thoughts and feelings and deciding whether they are truly accurate and truthful… or if they are exaggerated, misleading, unhelpful or outright false. Once you determine whether your negative thoughts are leading you down the wrong path, you then replace them with thoughts that can help you. This is a method that has proven time and again to be very effective

What is relaxation therapy?

This involves special techniques for relaxing both the mind and the body, and may include slow, deep breaths, visualization, progressive muscular relaxation, and what I call “letting-go” techniques.

To get rid of the sleep anxiety that’s causing insomnia, you must set aside some time to work on it… perhaps 30 minutes a day to start. This period can be broken down into two 15 minute segments. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can change your anxious thoughts and habitual ways of thinking and feeling.

Isn’t it time to break that frustrating vicious cycle that keeps you tossing and turning at night?

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How to Cure ‘Tinnitus’ Naturally

The ringing sound in one or both of the ears is known as Tinnitus. It may come and go or be persistent. People who suffer from ringing ears have many different types of noises in their ears. Some cases of tinnitus can greatly impact the quality of a persons life. They may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. Ringing in the ears is a complex problem. There may be an underlying medical condition. Natural remedies for tinnitus include, burdock root, goldenseal, and hawthorn leaf. Ginkgo biloba helps dizziness and improves hearing loss related to tinnitus. You should also eat pineapple daily which helps to reduce ear inflammation.

Kelp and garlic are also beneficial. Apple Cider Vinegar is a very efficient natural remedy. It is known to cure a wide variety of ailments including tinnitus. Hydrogen Peroxide can also help. By placing a few drops in your ear you can relieve some of the symptoms. Proper diet and exercise can reduce stress and cholesterol as well as blood pressure. It plays a crucial role in relieving tinnitus. Too much sugar in your diet can make tinnitus worse. Too much alcohol also makes tinnitus worse. Meditation van be very effective at relieving some of the symptoms. Background noise can also help the ringing ear symptoms.

The accumulation of ear wax plays an important role in tinnitus. You should clean your ears regularly. Use a Q-Tip or pour warm water in your ears to clear the wax. With time you will notice the symptoms reducing. People who listen to loud music don’t realize that it is the cause of the symptoms. Loud music can inflame the nerves in the inner ear. Try listening to soft music instead. Some soothing sounds that may help include singing birds or listening to the ocean waves. Sometimes tinnitus is caused by stress.

If this is the case, you should take it easy and relax. Take a holiday or indulge in your favorite activity. Rest and relaxation is one of the best tinnitus treatments. Your body needs time to rest. Avoid nicotine as part of your ringing in ears treatment program. Smoking restricts the blood flow to the structures of the ear and can cause tinnitus to flare up. Smokers with ringing ears should stop smoking as part of their treatment. If you stop smoking it will greatly benefit you not only in tinnitus treatment, but for overall health as well. If you have the proper information you can relieve tinnitus.

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Technology, Multitasking, Stress and "Flow" – Critical Information You Need to Be at Your Best

“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then to help orchestrate the energy of those around you.”

Peter F. Drucker

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.”

Goethe

Are you busier than you have ever been and enjoying it less and less? Do you end up too tired and frustrated at the end of the day to enjoy your evening or your “down” time? Is there any down time any more? What follows is what I think is the most critical piece of information that you can incorporate into your life in the coming year, both to buffer yourself from an exceptionally stressful environment, and, to excel in your performance and productivity.

Since 2001, when researcher Joshua Rubenstein, Ph.D. from the Federal Aviation Administration, and David Meyer, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Evans. Ph.D. both from the University of Michigan, published their groundbreaking research in the Journal of experimental Medicine, we have known that multitasking has its problems. In their work, they demonstrated that shifting mental gears costs time, especially when shifting to less familiar tasks.

To better understand executive control or the “Inner C.E.O”, the researchers had groups of young adult subjects switch between tasks of varying complexity (such as solving math problems), and measured the speed of their performance. In all cases, their measurements indicated that the subjects lost time on tasks, actually getting less done than if they were doing the tasks separately, and, it took them significantly longer to switch tasks when they were of greater complexity or unfamiliar.

Since this time, a sizable body of research has developed demonstrating similar losses in productivity and performance resulting from multitasking. Even more worrisome, some recent studies have shown that multitasking increases the levels of certain stress hormones, particularly cortisol and adrenaline, which on a long-term basis wears down our bodies’ systems, increasing our risk of many serious health problems and causing us to age prematurely.

In the last eight years since this initial research was published, challenges to our personal time and to our work life balance have increased exponentially. Along with ever more complex technology and its increasing availability have come increased expectations of our personal availability. These advancements in communications technology have allowed us to be available at any hour of the day on any day of the week, and the continuously expanding global nature of business has further fueled this demand. Most recently, the depressed economic conditions and related deep cutbacks in staffing have left us, almost everywhere, with fewer people and longer working hours.

The pressure to multitask is great. In many organizations it has become the norm, yet as mentioned above, the costs can be enormous. The illusion of speed and doing more with less time is very appealing, but it is usually only an illusion. The loss of quality of performance is high, but not nearly as high as the potentially devastating long-term costs to health due to increased stress and to personal and family relationships as a result of never being fully present.

What’s the cure for over reliance on multitasking and its subsequent consequences? I have recently heard the term “continuous partial attention” in describing what is more and more typical of our behaviors today and I find it to be distressingly accurate.

Several examples:

– At an important meeting at a local high school which would have a significant impact on the student’s future, the student noted afterward that the principal had spent the entire meeting (nearly and hour and a half), texting under the table.

– At a recent lunch meeting with another executive coach, while responding to his question, and reaching for a bite of my salad, I looked up to see him checking his e-mail on his new phone.

– A high-level job applicant told me recently that his interviewer (and prospective boss) had taken three phone calls and carried on three complete phone conversations about (apparently) non-urgent topics, while he sat there.

– Numerous clients have told me that they regularly answer business, e-mails, faxes, or phone or text messages from home and while on vacation.

– Nearly as many have complained about their spouse or partner “disappearing into e-mail” long into the evening and on weekends, effectively eliminating any “family time” or “couple time.”

What’s the most important piece of information I can give you as you start 2009? See the three strategies below:

1. Limit Multitasking. Set up clear boundaries for yourself for work and non-work activities time. Shut off electronic devices at defined times, and teach co-workers what is “an emergency” that would warrant them contacting you after-hours. If you are in a leadership role, model this for your staff and the organization, and communicate clearly what you are doing.

2. Be fully present. Whether it’s with a child, a spouse, a co-worker, or an employee, make a conscious choice to be present with them without interruptions from other technology and tasks. With colleagues and staff, this should be as often as they need your attention for work-related activities. For family and significant others, this needs to happen every day.

3. When you work, WORK! And, when you play, PLAY! In “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz they repeatedly make the point that the key to high performance is managing energy not time. They make the case that alternating periods of intense effort (or work) with periods of complete renewal (or relaxation and “play.”) is necessary for continuing health, high performance and productivity. In addition, many researchers have shown that one of the greatest predictors of happiness and one of the most potent protectors we have against the negative effects of stress, is being frequently in the state of “flow.” In other words, being totally absorbed in an activity, so much so that we lose track of time. This is impossible while multitasking. And, the deep recovery needed to do our best work is impossible if we never fully allow ourselves to fully relax and “play.”

I urge you to implement these three strategies in the coming year. Buck the trend toward “continuous partial attention” and watch the change in yourself, your organization and others around you.

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Understanding Stress – The 3 Types of Stresses!

When people think of stress, they usually think of it as a bad thing, certainly not good thing, but stress can actually be beneficial. Stress is classified into three types: Eustress, Neustress and Distress. They differ on how they affect a person or individual. Let’s tackle them one by one.

Eustress is the good kind of stress. It is stress that gives motivation and inspiration. This stress arises from many situations. For example, being promoted or winning a new job gives a person a bit of stress in the sense that they will have to adjust to new working conditions as well as create new relationships with new co-workers together with job performance expectations. It is, however, a good stress in that it gives you motivation to do your job well and the promotion or job offer itself serves as a reward or a prize for the hard work you have done.

The second type of stress is distress. It is basically the complete opposite of Eustress in terms of its effect on an individual. This type of stress causes ill effects to a person and is what people usually refer to when talking about stress. If someone is talking about stress it is almost always concerned with negative distress. Distress causes despair, grief, and sadness or more simply it disturbs the equilibrium of the body. An example of a stressor that can cause distress is the death of a spouse, major medical difficulties or some major loss of property or position. At its worst it will certainly cause grief and depression and will often be a life changing event.

The last type of stressor is called neustress. Neustress comes from the prefix ‘neu’ meaning neutral and is basically a type of stress that lies in the neutral reaction zone. It is a stress that doesn’t cause any particular harm or grief to the individual to the extent that it causes distress. Nor is it necessarily positive or a motivating change stress.

For an example imagine a person at a store overhearing someone else’s conversation. That person may be talking about their son’s sickness or misfortune or even death with their friend. While a person may react to it and feel sympathy to the person concerned but it will only last moments and it will not affect the person in a either a negative or in a positive way, certainly not in the same way or to the same extent that knowing the person concerned would affect them and therefore it is considered a neutral impact. Simply put, think of it as a judge hearing out a case of murder, the judge doesn’t take sides but only views the facts and decide what’s right and just.

The ultimate impact though of the types of stress you are experiencing comes down to how you perceive or see the stressor, in light of your own opinions and world view. What hardly affects one person at all but have a great impact on another. Whether you take an event as good, bad or neutral is… well… at the end of the day… up to you.

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Why Energy Drinks Can Trigger Panic Attacks

Millions of Americans every day including teenagers and adults are getting all hyped up from energy drinks every day. It’s become a fad around the world and its hip and cool to drink energy drinks no matter what time of day. Kids and adults are not only drinking energy drinks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but they’re also drinking energy drinks at parties as well.

With kids, the higher the concentration of caffeine and other stimulants the more popular these drinks become. Unfortunately a lot of kids don’t realize that it can cause them to have panic attacks. For that matter, a lot of adults don’t know that either. They have no idea why they sometimes feel the way they do after drinking energy drinks.

They can start feeling exceedingly “amped up” with hot flashes that are ripping through their bodies caused by the adrenal gland secreting adrenaline throughout their body. They may start feeling a tightness in their chest and a choking sensation that they cannot breath correctly.

Their heart will begin racing abnormally high and may even skip a beat or two causing more fear to rip through their body and they don’t understand what’s happening to themselves. Panic attacks induced by energy drinks can also cause not only physical symptoms, but psychological symptoms as well. Feelings of unreality or an intense feeling of impending doom or death are quite common with panic attacks.

In fact emergency rooms across the world are flooded every day from people who have panic attacks induced by stimulants found in drinks such as energy drinks as well from certain drugs such as methamphetamines. For some people who drink energy drinks it never affects them, for other people they can be very susceptible and even trigger panic attacks after drinking something that has a high concentration of stimulants in them.

Energy drinks contain very high quantities of not only caffeine but other natural stimulants as well, that are known to cause or trigger panic attacks in children, teenagers, and adults. Energy drinks do not discriminate.

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Natural Cure For Yeast Infections – Three Homemade Remedies That Are Effective

Due to the awful nature of a yeast infection many people want quick and fast relief from the painful symptoms. This is why people will even use poisonous substances like boric acid. Use of such substances are not only dangerous but they only mask the symptoms for some time and do not provide cure for the infection.

However, there are some very effective homemade remedies that act really fast in relieving the symptoms of a yeast infection. In addition if the infection is diagnosed early enough these home made remedies are usually enough to cure the infection.

High on the list is yogurt. A healthy body contains large amounts of acidophilus, the good bacteria in the gut which keeps the yeast Candida albicans under control. However, due to some reasons like the use of antibiotics or stress this natural balance can disturbed and Candida overgrows causing a yeast infection. A Sugar free, plain, organic yogurt that contain live acidophilus cultures (read the container carefully) can provide the good bacteria that will then help in eliminating the excess candida in the gut. The yogurt can be eaten or drank to boost the bacterial levels in the gut. It can also be applied directly on the affected areas.

The second safe remedy is Garlic. Yeast is a fungus and garlic is a very strong natural anti fungal substance. It can be eaten raw, crushing and applying on the affected areas or wrapped in a cheese clothe and inserted into the vagina. Another way is to blend it together with a small amount of lime juice and some sea salt. The lime juice and the sea salt help to balance the body PH, reducing candida growth rate.

Another natural cure for yeast infection is the grape fruit extract. This is a very strong tasting substance but very effective. It is usually in a very concentrated form and need to be diluted before use. Once dilute you can drink it with plenty of water three times a day. Water also helps to flush out the yeast. you can also use the solution to clean the affected area. In addition you can add drops of the grape seed extract in the wash water to kill the yeast on the clothes when washing.

There are many cures for the yeast infection but the above three are usually the most effective if used immediately a yeast infection is suspected. They are also among the remedies that will not feed the yeast and make it multiply.

A recurring yeast infection is usually a sign of a serious imbalance in the body that needs immediate attention. It is important to get to the root cause of the infection for any natural yeast infection cure to be effective.

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8 Ways to Motivate – Ideas to Revive Your Spirit!

Journal studies and articles continue to support the benefits of nature, of clearing your mind, and allowing yourself some personal restoration by maintaining moments of mental pause, in order to calm the mind and get motivated. We hear over and over again how we need to reduce stress for our physical and mental well-being. It sounds good, but what exactly can we try that is practical and easy to fit into our busy lives? Check out these eight ways to revive your spirit and motivate your mind into creating the life you desire to live!

1) Engage in some kind of physical activity. Let’s start with the obvious here, do something that releases those stress-releasing endorphins. Gardening, boxing, hiking, playing with your children, training for a triathlon, doing house work. Anything. Yes, even that. There’s no argument that physical activity sets your cells in motion and definitely helps to clear the mind, and keeps oxygen flowing with a stimulating, feel good affect.

2) Get your mojo back. Think about times when you are not stressed. Think hard. What was happening in your day during those stress-free moments? When you can zero in on the environment or activity where you experienced boosts in your energy, or felt calm, creative, and relaxed, you can take steps to recreate that in your life right now.

Was it the last time you went camping, attended a concert with friends, or enjoyed a Starbucks with your favorite magazine in peace? Well, break down those times into manageable realities and bring them back into your daily practice, if even for a short break. It is well supported that these little “bits” throughout your day add up for overall wellness.

3) Think positive. Yes! I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have bad days with challenging coworkers or defiant children. When frustration comes to a boil, you get to decide on how you will react, pick the response that represents your true nature. Sometimes it’ll seem the universe is just working against you! Maybe it’s time to shift your focus, and concentrate on the aspects of your daily life that are actually pretty good. Try this for a day-an entire day-and you will feel its affects.

For instance, you might become more aware of your impact on others, and also how the energies of other people affect your motivation. Keep doing it and you will create positive abundance, or at least tire yourself out trying-in which you’ll get a fantastic night’s sleep, which is quite beneficial as well. Only you can keep yourself in a bad place, so it is up to you to keep yourself in a happier state. I have found being positive requires less energy-it takes a lot of work to maintain a negative assault! Practicing a positive mentality will open you up to a more peaceful, secure way of thinking-another beneficial energy to emanate.

4) Go crazy. Uninhibited, free-spirited crazy dancing, singing, screaming, or yelling! Turn up the radio in your car and belt out your favorite song, or turn it up in your house for some of your best “dance-like-nobody’s-watching” moves. This is instant stress relief, and it’s a great reminder to not take your self so seriously sometimes. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, to go to that place where we inflate our roles or the intentions of others. This creates “sneaky” obstacles: negativity, ego, or fear-based beliefs sneak in and take up space in our minds, inhibiting productive thought and activity. Scream, sing, or dance them out!

5) Try meditation. I know, I know. For some of you (myself included), this sounds great, but we just can’t tame the “monkey mind.” But I got over that and I’ve found a way to be comfortable and open during meditation. I found actual meditative release during a group music meditation. In the words of meditation teacher, Oriana Green of GreenMeditations.com, “Ignore the rules. Rules are for aspiring Buddhist monks or Catholic nuns. If something works for you, enjoy!”

I used to think listening to soothing music in the background was “not really meditating” but I found that the end result is the same, so I made up my own rules to offset the limitations I put upon myself. Since then, I’ve benefited from a couple of “mini-medi’s” while listening to calm music during my son’s naptime or late at night. Ironically, the soft music distracts me from my distractive thoughts just enough to let my counterproductive notions come and go easily. Meditation can help you gain insight to situations you face, it can inspire you, it can relax or invigorate you, it can restore your sense of connection. It is good for your body, mind, and soul.

6) Shift your worrying onto more productive activities. Face it, you can’t really control the universe, so don’t let it control you. If you find you are caught up in the emotional tangles of situations that are causing your stress, try to take a break, if not let go of them all together. Switch your energy onto more productive actions. Think creatively and find other sources that drive you and offer a more positive role for you. What are you passionate about, how could you teach it to others? What organizations inspire you? How can you be of service to their cause? What ideas can you bring for the neighborhood family nature club?

7) Be kind, unwind. Stimulate your mind with discovering something new, or just hanging out. Either way, make time in your daily routine (it’s there) to unwind your mind from your usual responsibilities. Allow yourself rewards. You work hard, you are a loving parent and a caring partner-what you wish for your loved ones, you should allow for your self. It’s not just your children who need personal time for independent growth, nor is your spouse the only one who deserves time out with friends or a fun night class.

As you support those you love in their experiences, be kind in manifesting similar opportunities for yourself. Go solo, or get the whole family involved, or take a writing or pottery class with your honey. The point is to excite your mind and create intellectual, social, family, or spiritual balance to be a better you-which is better for all!

8) Build a support team. When you are determining your goals and establishing your path to success, share your dreams with a supportive partner, friend, or a personal coach. Letting someone else in on your plans, who shares in your enthusiasm and wants to see you succeed, is a great way to add accountability to your efforts. With the right support, your obstacles, ruts, or stalls are acknowledged–but with a new perspective and restructured into opportunities that keep you moving forward!

Go thrive!

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